Skip to main content
  1. AXS Entertainment
  2. Arts & Entertainment
  3. Music

Opening night Summerfest crowd has mad love for Neon Trees

See also

Neon Trees at Summerfest

Rating:
Star4
Star
Star
Star
Star

Last night, June 25, kicked off Summerfest and though fog prevented the big bang fireworks show, there was plenty of excitement on the US Cellular Connection stage as Neon Trees made their fourth appearance to the world's largest music festival. Neon Trees headlined starting at 10 p.m. and continued to 11:30 p.m.

The concert began with a huge sheet covering the stage throughout about half of the first song ("Lessons in Love") while neon lights lit up the stage from behind, building suspense for the band's appearance. The stage included stairs leading up to a platform which, while impressive for dramatic effect, downplayed drummer Elaine Bradley's presence throughout most of the concert, as she was on a lower level of the platform in back while guitarist Chris Allen, bassist Branden Campbell, and singer Tyler Glenn remained at the front of the stage.

It was all the more exciting, then, to see Bradley come from her usual place behind the drums, out to the spotlight to sing alongside Glenn for "Mad Love" and "Unavoidable." The two voices blend very well together and create harmony we can only hope to hear more of.

But whether it's Glenn's tiptoe-ing dance moves and insane vocal range, or Bradley's drumming prowess and harmonies, or Allen and Campbell's infectious energy, everyone in the band brings something to the table. The four members have great chemistry together and it's evident that they've gotten very comfortable playing with each other.

The set list showed a good representation of their body of work, mostly introducing new songs from their latest album, Pop Psychology, while including the long-loved hits. Between songs, Glenn took time to tell short anecdotes leading into a song transition, often about love, coming out, and being yourself.

These anecdotes and uplifting messages make a Neon Trees concert stand out from others, not only because of Glenn recently coming out, but because it shows that the band has a lot of heart, as evidenced in their music and message. It's fitting, then, that the encore ended on a more sentimental, personal note with "First Things First" following "Everybody Talks."

Neon Trees played to a packed crowd at the US Cellular Connection stage, and fans couldn't be stopped from singing and dancing along to both the hits and new tracks. Their love and support for Glenn in coming out was evidenced throughout the night in applause and cheers, with one fan even throwing his shirt up to the lead singer. The message and tone of the band's live performance and latest album are best said from Glenn himself last night-

I'm Tyler. I'm 30. I love Milwaukee so much. I believe in God. I'm gay, and I'm so happy to be here!"

This, by far, led to the longest, most enthusiastic outpouring of applause last night. The Pop Psychology tour and album clearly showcase Glenn's change for a much happier life. Neon Trees continue their Pop Psychology tour now through October and Summerfest continues now through June 29, and July 1-6.

SET LIST

Lessons in Love (All Day, All Night)

Your Surrender

Love in the 21st Century

Animal

Moving in the Dark

I Love You (But I Hate Your Friends)

Mad Love

Unavoidable

Teenager in Love

Text Me in the Morning

1983

Living in Another World

Don't You Want Me (The Human League cover)

Sleeping with a Friend

ENCORE

Where is My Mind (Pixies cover)

Everybody Talks

First Things First

Advertisement

Today's top buzz...

  • Ted Nugent
    Ted Nugent concert at Native American casino canceled because of obvious reasons
    Music Buzz
  • NFL
    Pat Bowlen steps down as Broncos owner following Alzheimer's diagnosis
    Video
    NFL Buzz
  • Tina Fey
    See why Tina Fey is possibly the most popular woman in comedy at the moment
    Today's Buzz
  • Mick Jagger
    Mick Jagger promotes 'Get On Up' in New York, including Apollo Theater premiere
    Camera
    20 Photos
  • Boyhood
    The new film 'Boyhood' chronicles twelve years of one boy's life
    Camera
    19 Photos
  • Buffy
    We're counting down ten of the finest episodes of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’
    Camera
    7 Photos